#2: A Beauty Refined  -     By: Tracie Peterson
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#2: A Beauty Refined

Bethany House / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

A Beauty Refined #2, the Sapphire Brides series by Tracie Peterson

Lies, deception, cruelty, surprises, and dangers await Phoebe Von Bergen as she follows her father from Germany to America.  Meeting Ian Harper and discovering the truth about her father makes her more determined than ever to live her own life.  But it won’t be as simple as the innocent beauty believes…and hers will not be the only life impacted.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764213253
ISBN-13: 9780764213250
Series: Sapphire Brides

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Publisher's Description

Tracie Peterson Delivers Bestselling Historical Fiction with Romance and Adventure

Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to accompany her father when he travels from Germany to purchase sapphires in Montana. Little does she know that her father's plans--for the gemstones and his daughter--are not what they seem.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie--a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything. Phoebe is determined to stay in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger as the deception begins to unravel.

Author Bio

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
(15)
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(2)
Quality:
3.6 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
3.6 out Of 5
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86%
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  1. Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another great read!
    September 29, 2016
    kathae
    Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'm always amazed at how authors come up with new ideas and settings for their novels. And after more than 100 novels, Tracie Peterson has done it again! The Sapphire Brides series takes place in Montana mining country near the turn of the 20th century. I enjoyed reading about a previously unknown to me setting.

    The situation of all the characters was very intriguing, as well. British and German nobility and western Americans came together to make an interesting cast of characters.

    The other thing I loved about this book was that even though this was the second book of the series, not for a moment did I feel like I was missing anything by not having read the first book.

    I recommend this book for those who like historical fiction and romance.

    I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
  2. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    While the story may have some dark overtones, there is a degree of believability that makes the premise far more palatable
    September 5, 2016
    Sparrowhawk
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A Beauty Refined was a remarkably well-executed storyline with well-crafted characters that shed light on the issues of domestic abuse from a Christian vantage point. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, and to anyone looking for a bit of courage ― I liked it!

    ___________________________________

    WHAT I LIKED

    + A Beauty Refined takes place during a time when industrial and mining capitalism was on the rise in America; hence, the name for the series Sapphire Brides. Through this lens, Tracie Peterson gives the reader a glimpse into the unrelenting greed and deception in the heart of man and I suppose this is where the book held its merit. That is to say, for a Christian fiction, this book added a surprising amount of weight and depth. It questions the nature of divorce, it challenges the readers morality and vantage point, and it reminds us that whilst our past may look grim and hopeless, God is able to restore those who call upon His name into a beauty refined.

    + A Beauty Refined prides itself with an incredible amount of character development for such a short story. Most of this development focuses on our tragic protagonist, Phoebe who sadly endured a lot of heartache and calamity. Truly, I was stricken with so much grief given her dire circumstances and how they each affected her character arc. It goes without saying that, most of the plots climax is rooted in this deep internal conflict. Its a story that touches on truly frightening issues and the book does a great job at depicting these real life motifs.

    The other main character who stole the spotlight was Phoebes egocentric father, Graf Von Bergen; ugh! Ive read a good handful of books penned by Tracie Peterson and I have to say, this antagonist goes down as the worst! This brute imbued all the radical traits of a misogynist cynic which made him more than an archetype ― he is condescending, ambitious, narcissistic, erratically violent with a severe inferiority complex View Spoiler . I was truly skeptical about the way Tracie Peterson was going to resolve the conflicts surrounding Graf Von Bergens character arc. I wont reveal the end, but lets just say, it was undeniably intense, nail-biting and well-drawn out; I was left agape, to say the least, and well leave it at that.

    + Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite writers in the historical fiction genre; thus, it comes as no surprise to say that I loved the writing in A Beauty Refined; particularly how it feels very much like a Colonial novel and imbues a clever yet dark tone to the narration; dark in light of its thematic scope. Even more, the book that is riddled with German culture, even the dialogue!

    THINGS THAT MADE GO HMMM. . .

    - The only quibble I had with A Beauty Refined was with its otherwise torpid pacing; specifically with the scenes where we are told how sapphires are graded and formed. I dont mean to disprove the authors extensive research and study, however, these factors just didnt seem to pique my interest. Nevertheless, I commend Tracie Peterson for her thorough attention to detail with these beautiful gems and while these scenes did stump the flow of the plotline they do manage to ease the reader into Phoebes world while introducing the supporting characters and the climax at a pace that one is able to keep up with.

    AFTERTHOUGHTS

    In light of the themes addressed in A Beauty Refined, this book may not appeal to everyone. Be that as it may, while the story may have some dark overtones, there is a degree of believability that makes the premise far more palatable. Its certainly worth the read if you are following the series.

    NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of this review, it was not required of me to give a positive review, but to solely express my honest thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    full of history and real issues
    August 9, 2016
    Booklover10
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors to read, partly because I grew up reading some of her books when I first discovered Christian fiction. I am always excited to see that she has a new book coming out or a new series that she has just written.

    A Beauty Refined is the second book in her Sapphire Brides series. I appreciate this series because she takes she shows her readers how different choices can affect a person's life for an extremely long time. In this case, Phoebe didn't make these choices herself. She just trusted her dad who had made her think that her life was something that it truly wasn't. Now Phoebe is left having to try to figure out who is lying, what is the lie, and to top it off, lives are in danger.

    Historically, I didn't know much about the sapphire mines. In fact, I'm not sure I've even given much thought to the fact that there was such a thing. I appreciated the historical setting a lot because it got me interested in something new. I like when fiction authors pique my interest and make me start googling topics so I can learn more about that time period.

    I am definitely looking forward to book 3 being released in this series. Hopefully it won't be too long!

    _________________

    I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange fo rmy honest opinion of this book.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another Gem from Tracie Peterson
    August 9, 2016
    Amelia
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors and she never fails to disappoint. I enjoy all of her books. While "A Beauty Refined" is the second book in the Sapphire Brides Series, they can be read as stand alones. I am immediately intrigued by Phoebe's story, and once she travels to America and Ian comes into her life, I want her to discover the truth and live in that freedom. I am also a fan of her and Ian's relationship and I am rooting for them throughout the book. Tracie does a fantastic job of telling this story, and allows the reader to feel like they are really getting to know the characters. There is just enough mystery to keep you turning the pages and enough romance to warm your heart. If you haven't done so already add this entire series to your must read list. You will never regret reading a novel from Tracie. I am already looking forward to her next book.

    I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity and Netgalley in exchange for my review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Absolute Gem
    August 9, 2016
    Chas Ray
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Beauty Refined is the second book in Tracie Peterson's Sapphire Brides series. Although it is the second book it can be read as a stand alone. I have read them both and highly recommend each one.

    Graf Von Bergen is on a business trip to America. He is to be buying sapphires from Ceylon for the Dutchess She has deemed those the best, but he has found he can ger beautiful sapphires elsewhere. Not only are the sapphires beautiful in Montana, they are also a great deal cheaper. Even with his travel expenses he can still save a great deal, of course he doens't plan on telling the Dutchess they aren't from Ceylon, nor does he plan to give her the money he saves. The Graf is a man used to getting his way, one way or the other. He commands, rather demands respect and will not tolerate anyone crossing him or getting in his way.

    Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to travel with her father. She has heard much about America and can't wait to see if those stories are true. Used to her father's temper she doesn't think much about it when he barates the hired help. Afterall, if they did what he asked he would have no reason to get upset. She isn't cold hearted, but after losing her mother at such a young age she does tend to make excuses for his unacceptable behavior. Phoebe is nothing like her father, she takes after her deceased mother both in looks and in manners.

    Due to her father's frequent meetings, Phoebe tends to spend a lot of time by herself. She dones't mind however, there is plenty to do and explore both at the hotel and in the city of Helena. On one of her excursions touring the grounds she bumps into Ian and Kenny. They quckly become friends and she enjoys spending time with the duo.

    A Beauty Refined is a story that reminds us things aren't always what they seem. Graft Von Bergen seems to have everything a man could ask for: money, social standing, a handsome son and lovely daughter and a dream job of buying gems for a Prussian Dutchess. However, a long held secret comes to light and threatens to destroy the very image that the Graft has tried so hard to contain.

    This is yet another wonderful work of art by Tracie Peterson You will fall in love with the characters and be carried away back in time to a world most have forgotten. Of course, if you're like me you won't love all the characters. Along with the Graft there were a few others who made my stomach turn. It's hard to believe some people can really be that despicable. It's not all doom and gloom however, and I don't mean to give you that impression. There is also love, friendship and families restored. A Beauty Refined is a must read for those who love historical romance, and if you've never read a historical romance novel then I recommend you start with A Beauty Refined. You won't regret it!

    *I was given a copy of A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House Publishers in exchage for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own.
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